I sent my 5-year-old son to school today and cried. I’m afraid he will be shot at school. I’m terrified that he will die afraid and crouching behind a desk. I’m besides myself with worry for him and his friends. They are in kindergarten. They love snack time and recess, they are proud when they learn something new, and they love their teacher with all their hearts. They enjoy school, they are friends with the whole class, no one is left out yet, no one is bullied, they have not yet noticed that some kids don’t have as much as others. They are young and innocent and naive and full of wonder and love and trust.
Tonight I will have to talk to him, again, about the drills they practice at school. I will have to talk to him about bad people and guns and how to stay safe, when to hide and when to run. I will have to make him promise that if he is hiding he needs to be quiet, so quiet, not make a peep, please dear god let him stay quiet if that time comes. I will not tell him that his life may depend on it, he’s too young. I will reassure him a thousand times over that he is safe at school, while myself questioning. I will send him off every day with kisses and hugs and “I love yous” that are never enough, and yet, they have to be.
I have to do something. I have to know I have tried. And I suspect many others feel the same. So I’m providing some links that I have found helpful. If you have others to share, please leave a comment.
To get involved with organizations that call for sensible gun laws:
To contact your senators and representatives in Congress:
Tips for talking to your kids about school shootings:
Tips for kids (and others) on what to do if you are in a shooting situation:
As for me, I will write letters and make calls to my elected officials, I will sign petitions and attend meetings, I will educate myself and others, I will protest. I will not take this lying down, I will not let this be ok, I will not let the children of America be victims. And I will pray to every god and make deals with every devil, not only to keep my kids safe, but that my babies remember my love, that they feel those kisses, that they won’t be scared if they are ever crouched behind in a desk or cornered in a bathroom with the sound of gunfire all around. What more can I do? My kids, your kids, ALL KIDS deserve better.
* Update: I spoke to my son’s teacher yesterday to confirm that they have practiced a lockdown drill. (They have and will again.) She told me that yesterday she played a game and had the kids see how many of them could fit in her storage closet. Luckily these are kindergartners, its isn’t a large class, and the closet is fairly spacious. She said she could just squeeze them all in and lock the door. I asked about her. No, she could not fit. But she assured me that was ok, she would lock them in if there was a shooter, she would keep those babies safe. This is what our nation has become. Kids locked in a closet to keep them safe from a maniac with a gun…while their teacher sacrifices herself. I just can’t even handle it right now, it’s too damn sad.